Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday!

Two Things I am Grateful For:

1) My children.  They continually "Awe" me and I love them more and more each and every day.

2) Good neighbors that check up on us.  Sis. Dickson....even though it's your calling right now to do this, you would do this even before it was your calling.  It only seemed natural that this would become your calling now.  Thank you. 

Goals For the Day:

1) Pick up around the house.
2) Get ready for work tomorrow.
3) Write a letter to my missionary son.  

From the Camera:

Take a look at what the missionaries did at a park in the New York, New York North Mission.  The Plan of Salvation.  How cool is that?

From the Heart:

In keeping with our theme, acts of kindness, here is another idea....
Even though we do not experience snow here in Arizona, I know the people back east would appreciate this.  Even my son might get a taste of snow the day he arrives in New York.  They are expecting snow that day.  ~smile~smile~

It’s easy to get into the habit of not paying attention to those around you, especially if they are strangers. Starting with your neighbors, make an effort to pay more attention to others and try to anticipate their needs. Start with something simple, like shoveling show for your next-door-neighbor while you’re out shoveling your own walk.

Benefits

Shoveling snow for someone is a kind, neighborly gesture that will only take an extra five or ten minutes on your part, but it is sure to make someone’s day or even their week. If you don’t currently know your neighbors, it could open a door to a new friendship with them.

Step It Up

Take one day every winter and go door-to-door with your snow shovel, introducing yourself and asking people if you can shovel their walks. You could even involve your family and friends and make it a Holiday tradition.

Keep It Simple

If there’s a person in your neighborhood who you know might have a hard time shoveling his or her walk, surprise them and wake up early and shovel it before they have a chance to. If you can’t do it every time it snows, aim to do it as often as you can. That could be once a week in the winter or once every year. No matter how often, it still counts as an act of kindness.
From the Kitchen:

Fluffy Vanilla Butter Cream: (makes 6 cups)
4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 lbs sifted powder sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp cream, milk or water
1 tsp vanilla or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Cream butter, add liquids & salt... add in powder sugar slowly. Mix until fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Note: You can alter this with any extract to make different flavors or add fruit puree

From the Spirit:

The TA-DA!!! Principle

Years ago, when I was a stay at home mother with 5 small children, my days were often filled with 100's of things to do daily.  I don't suppose that is any different these days for those brave women who still choose this profession in life.  I found myself with projects that needed to be done and I would plow along and work to accomplish these endless tasks. The endless laundry, the three meals a day, getting the kids off to school and then picking them up.. on and on it went.
Every day was filled with lots to do and lots of things accomplished and most of it unheralded in the world or by my family. There was no plaque for employee of the month, no paycheck, no pats on the back, no lunches out with the boss for a job well done.. unless you count all the crusts of PB and J sandwiches I could ever wish for!
For example I do not ever remember anyone ever coming up to me and tell me "Great job mom for completing 20 loads of laundry!"  Or remarking that the kitchen stove looked particularly lovely after I spent an hour and two fingernails scrubbing off the burned on yuck!  Nope most of my work was not noticed by the outside world or even those close to me.
That was until I created the "TA-DA" in my life.
It started one day when my sweetheart came home and asked.. like he did most days.. "so how was your day today?"  I decided that I wanted some good old fashioned praise for my hard work that day. So with much drama I walked to a hall closet, which I can only describe as a junk closet.....you know the ones where you open the door throw in an item and hastily close the door hoping something else does not escape!  With the flinging open of the door I threw my hands in the air like one of those magicians at the conclusion of a great illusion and, shouted "TA-DA!"
My sweetheart was shocked and we both giggled and he looked into the closet, probably expecting a rabbit to appear, and saw that it was no longer the junk closet but it was now all organized and beautiful. Now to his credit he took the cue and spent a couple of moments telling me how great it looked and wonderful I was!
And so began my love affair with the "TA DA" principal. When I would can 25 quarts of peaches.. at the end of a long day as my sweetheart would come into the kitchen I would position him in front of the pantry… fling open the day and shout "TA-DA!"  When I would make a new cookie... I would put the plate in front of my kids and shout "TA DA!"
Now you may think this has stopped in my life… after all I am older and now I have accomplished so much in my life that surely there is no need for this to continue.. but nope.  Just last month I got a new wireless speaker for my home.  And after reading the instructions I figured out  all by my little old self  how to get it to work with my computer AND my cell phone!!!  TA DA!!!  I could not wait to tell my techie son how cool his "ancient" mother still is because she could do something techie!
Now there is a point to this story.  There is much about our lives that is praise worthy. It may not be praised by the world but it is praise worthy none the less.   It is a good thing to be learning, growing and accomplishing. In the 13th Article of Faith it says that we are to be seeking after things which are "lovely, of good report or praiseworthy."  We read of TA DA moments in the scriptures for those that stayed the course or accomplished hard things. For example we can look at the story of the Stripling Warriors as they volunteered to go to battle against the Lamanites.  In Alma 57:26Helaman wrote:
"And now, their preservation was astonishing to our whole army, yea, that they should be spared while there was a thousand of our brethren who were slain. And we do justly ascribe it to the miraculous power of God, because of their exceeding faith in that which they had been taught to believe--that there was a just God, and whosoever did not doubt, that they should be preserved by his marvelous power."
These young men had been taught to believe and not doubt by good mothers... TA DA!  These young men had "exceeding faith in that which they had been taught"… TA DA!    God had preserved their lives "by his miraculous power" ... TA DA!  Not one single young man was lost event though a thousand around then had died. .. TA DA!
In our own lives there are TA DA moments, big and small, if we would just take a moment to acknowledge them.  We completed 100% of our home teaching. .. TA DA!  We went to the temple this month... TA DA!   We did not yell at the driver who cut us off in traffic... TA DA!  We did not overspend our budget this month ... TA DA! We completed our taxes… TA DA! With the help of the atonement we overcame one of many weaknesses and made it strength... TA DA!
We should celebrate those TA DA moments in our lives and look for the TA DA moments in the lives of those around us so we can celebrate them together.  And if helps just a little to celebrate I invite you to throw your hands in the air and shout "TA DA" for yourself and for those you love when you see the little and the big accomplishments of in our lives.   It is my belief that as we continue to strive in our lives and we should recognize that our TA DA moments are moving closer to our Heavenly Father and we are becoming more like him… step by step… precept by precept… until we are worthy to enter back into the presence of God and I believe that will be the best and most humbling TA DA moment of all!
From the Schmidt's:

This past week has been exciting I hardly think I can top that as I sit here trying to think about what to tell you.  I joined a Facebook group at the suggestion of my friend Denise.  Yesterday one of the ladies posted a very cool Eagle Scout project her son was doing.  He is collecting clothing for 20-30 young men down in Mexico who are waiting to go and serve missions.  They cannot leave until they have all of their things.  I thought that was an awesome Eagle Project and wanted to help any way I could, even if it was just to help spread the word.  So, I posted the information on as many Facebook groups as I could.  Low and behold the information reached over 100,000 people in just a few short clicks of the keyboard.  Now I am directly in contact with the mother of this young man too.  My home has even become the drop off point for articles of clothing here in Arizona.  You see, the young man lives in South Jordan, Utah.  I don't mind being the drop off point.  We can certainly do that.  Plus there is someone going to Utah in about a week and has volunteered to drop items off too.  How cool is that?  You can see the information on my last post about this young man's Eagle project if you want to know more, or send me an email at sondra.schmidt11@gmail.com.

We missed church today.  Kevin and I were not happy about that.  We both felt we needed to be there today.  But, Kevin wasn't doing too well and Kyle also go a job that started this morning at 4 a.m.  We let him take the car.  He will be getting a car soon too.  So, it's just a matter of time.  This afternoon when Kyle got home he was frustrated.  He specifically asked to NOT work on Sundays, but the guy gave him a shift that goes from Saturday to Wednesday.  Needless to say, Kyle plans to look for another job right away.  This is not something he will budge on, which is awesome.  I'm glad Kyle is so determined to make it to church.  Love that!

It looks like Lexi will be changing to early morning Seminary soon.  She is missing too much and our neighbor has volunteered to pick her up in the morning to ride with them since they all ready leave to get their son to school for early morning seminary.  It will be good. She is going to talk to her seminary teacher now and work out the details.  Love that too!!!

Danielle will be over to the house tonight.  She is coming to see her dog.  He doesn't know it yet, but I'm sure he will be so excited to see her when he gets here.  

Speaking of the dog.  Danielle took a photo of the dog right after I cleaned the carpets.  Remember me talking about how I did that and how nice they turned out?  Well take a look.....


I'm not gonna lie.  The spot where the dog is sitting was pretty bad.  I rented a carpet cleaner, used the cleaning solution suggested by the maker of the machine and added unscented bleach to the mixture and my carpets turned out awesome!  Love that!

Well, it's time to make dinner.  Take care and we will talk again soon.  

From the Missionary:

This is the letter Curtis wrote to his Dad last Friday....

Hey Dad,
 
I'm doing good.  It's awesome here.  My companions name is Elder Nelson, he's awesome.  We are starting to become friends and its awesome to teach and learn with him.  The Dear Elder thing is working fine.  I got your letter.  The MTC is awesome and teaching is so easy here because the spirit is so strong here.  It's hard and I am super tired all the time, but I'm learning so much here....and I can't wait to go share the gospel with people.  I was mad a zone leader last night and I get to help next week introducing the new elders and sisters in our district.  I got my flight plans today I leave on march 31st,  I will be landing first in Georgia and then transferring to a flight to NEW YORK.  Ha Ha.  Sorry this email is all over the place.  I just have been having a lot of things happening.  Oh yeah, I SAW TREVOR MC LAWS!  He is doing awesome!  I might be able to  get a picture to you guys some time, but he is doing awesome.  He was so happy and It's awesome to see someone I know here.  We started teaching lessons and stuff the first day and we haven't stopped.  I didn't know they had real investigators here that they let the missionaries teach.  Well,  I'm gonna write Mom and anyone else I can now.  Ha Ha.  Thank you for helping me get here.  I am so happy to learn and to grow as a missionary, and sharing God's purpose with others and helping to bring them to Christ.

Love,

Elder Schmidt
AKA: Curtis

P.S. My P-Day is Friday.  Ha Ha


Quote of the Day:

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